We left the fuel dock in San Diego about 12:00 yesterday. We did manage to sail for about 3 hours, bringing the total we have sailed since leaving San Francisco Bay to 7 hours. We went from the spring with gale after gale down the coast to the winter trip down the coast with no wind. There just isn’t a breath of wind out here. We are motoring along with a lot of extra fuel aboard.
All is well, although we are a bit tired from last night’s watches.
There has been very little boat traffic out here, the only notable sighting being a cruise ship coming out of Ensenada last night.
There were a few dolphins on early in the day yesterday.
30*43′.87 N 116*25′.74 W
A full day of sailing
Subject: A full day of sailing
Date: 05 Jan 2018
After sailing for over 12 hours, we find ourselves almost between Isla Cedros and Isla San Benito.
Out current position is 28*23′.3864 N 115* 29′.678 W
All is well; it is good to be sailing and not under motor. It has started to warm up also. Both of these are good for crew moral.
Subject: Down the coast of Baja headed to Mag Bay
Date: 05 Jan 2018 23:51:23 -0000
Aiki and her intrepid crew are sailing down the coast of Baja.
After several days of poor sleeping we are starting to get into the swing of the four hours on four hours off schedule. The hardest part of getting used the the schedule for us is that we always seem to be tired as can be when we are on watch, and then we can’t get our brains to shut off when we go below to try and sleep.
The food as always is good, and helps to keep moral up a bit, although the long dark watches do bring out melancholy while we are waiting for the light.
Know that we are thinking of all of you guys a lot lately. Unlike life back in the hustle and bustle work a day world, there is a lot of time for us to think of all of our friends while we sail along.
Dolphins have come to play every night so far. They seem to have a game involving scaring the person on watch by blowing out really loud when they are just alongside the boat.
In a couple of places as we head down the coast here in Mexico we have been able to get and receive texts on the phone. So if you feel so inclined drop us a text. They come in when they come in, very randomly, and are like small presents when you least expect them.
It is sunny and 75 here, with horizon to horizon blue sky. We are looking forward to some adventures with whales and where the desert meets the sea when we get to Bahia de Magdalena, Baja California Sur, Mexico, which should be sometime on Sunday at the rate we are traveling.
26*47′.913 N 114*18′.487 W
Sailing but slowly
Date: 07 Jan 2018
We should be Bahia de Magdalena, otherwise known as Mag Bay tomorrow morning. Currently the calculations have us getting there at 0600 or so, but we are expecting the wind to die down as it has every night since the start of the trip. We are shooting to be there no earlier than sunrise, which is at about 7:30.
All is well aboard; we have a few little things to address, such as a screw falling out of the radar mount, and one of the battens in the main sail is somehow twisted. But nothing that seems at all difficult.
We are hoping to meet up with a friend of ours, Derek Peterson when we are there, but we are unsure if that will work out. In any case we plan on staying in Mag Bay for a few days; this is whale calving season, and there should be whales to see in the bay.
25*09.993 N 112* 43′.515 W
What is our watch schedule?
Subject: Watch Schedule
Date: 07 Jan 2018 00:05:49 -0000
The wind died and we are motoring again; the upside is that the seas are very calm–glass like right now.
Some of you have asked about the watch schedule here as we head down the coast. Guy’s watch is 8-12. Melissa is on watch from 12-4 am. Guy is on again from 4-8 am, rinse lather and repeat. It is a little less structured during the day when everyone tries to get some sleep when they feel tired. We have breakfast lunch and dinner together, and generally time for talking and playing a game of cribbage between lunch and dinner.
There has been a lot of research done on watch schedules, and how best to implement them for small boat sailing. Some of these have actually been done by the US Navy. All of the research points to one solid conclusion, you need to have at least 4 hour sleep blocks. The nature of how humans sleep and what happens to our bodies while we are sleeping is such that we can’t make the necessary chemicals, and repair the necessary damage in our bodies with any less sleep than 4 hours.
While it is harder to stay awake in the middle of the night, looking out largely at nothing with nothing going on, is a sure fire way to have your brain want to go to sleep. So each of us has little tricks, and alarms we set, to keep us awake. One of our favorites is a crew member that has a “Watch Dance” which he does on a schedule, and is always fun to watch from below when he doesn’t know you are looking!